Video of trainer drowning not shown at SeaWorld OSHA hearing

Posted Thursday, September 22, 2011 10:53 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Government attorneys declined to show video of a SeaWorld trainer being drowned by a killer whale during a hearing Tuesday over whether $75,000 in job safety penalties for the theme park are fair. SeaWorld has asked an administrative law judge to throw out three federal citations issued after an investigation of trainer Dawn Brancheau's death in February 2010.

Read more from AP via Businessweek.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:44 AM

I believe there is still a chance the government attorneys today could still show video from the incident according to news reports I watched last night. I hope for the respect of Dawn's family they don't.

I have to say I have always been someone who supports SeaWorld and everything I believe SeaWorld stands for. Last night I was reading information about the death of a trainer at Loro Parque in Spain which is using orcas on loan from SeaWorld and, if the report I read was true, I have completely come to a new conclusion about trainers interacting with orcas in water movements. I am now of the belief that even though incidents with orcas are rare, when something goes wrong it goes horribly wrong and I just can't find a reason to continue putting an employee's life at risk. The story of what has been occuring with the loan orcas at Loro Parque, along with the death of 29 year old Alexis Martinez only a few months before Dawn's death, is enough for me to change my position on the subject.

Here is a link to a story about the issues at Loro Parque and the orcas on loan from SeaWorld in an entry dated September 6, 2011.

http://timzimmermann.com/

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Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:15 PM

This details of this story keep getting worse and worse for SeaWorld I am afraid....

http://news.yahoo.com/seaworld-trainers-told-caution-whale-181117690.html

http://news.yahoo.com/seaworld-trainers-describe-colleagues-death-killer-whale-184449991.html

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Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:26 PM

How is it getting worse? There aren't any new facts here.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011 6:16 PM

mlnem4s said:
I am now of the belief that even though incidents with orcas are rare, when something goes wrong it goes horribly wrong and I just can't find a reason to continue putting an employee's life at risk.

This may not be the best analogy, but airline crashes are rare as well, but when something goes wrong, it goes horribly wrong, and hundreds of lives can be lost. Should pilots not fly because of the inherent risk, or are the airlines going to ground the fleet because something may or may not happen?

Pilots, along with Orca trainers, are fully aware of the risks associated with their respective jobs. No one forced them to do what they do. They chose to do it because they love it, no matter the risks involved.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011 7:02 PM

The fact that many of these incidents are happening at facilities outside SeaWorld, and not inside it, indicate to me that the SeaWorld trainers really know what they're doing, and Dawn's death was really an "anomaly." Maybe everyone else needs to meet SeaWorld's standards?

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